Destructoid Gourmet: Making a BioShock cake

BioShock is noted for its grim themes, visceral combat, tone, and colorful characters. While I applaud the game for all of the above, I think there is something missing. For a period, I could not put my finger on it.  Is it the lack of customization? Could it possibly be the brevity of play? Or is it perhaps the letdown of the endgame?

Today, I realized what was missing. BioShock does not have enough cake. Over the years, there have been two things I have found that I consistently enjoy. The first would be writing about videogames. The second is eating things that rot my jawbone. Naturally, finding that perfect balance between diabetes and visual stimulation has been my lifelong goal.

One of the hallmarks of BioShock is the utilization of Plasmids, which require a certain amount of psychic strength called EVE. EVE is a fickle substance that is most commonly utilized by syringe, and the focus of my project. After the break, I shall painstakingly detail my labors in creating an EVE syringe out of red velvet cake, and hopefully encourage you to make your own in the process.

So, would you kindly click on?

First and foremost, you will need to gather the appropriate tools and ingredients.  

  • 1 medium-sized baking or jellyroll sheet
  • 1 muffin pan
  • 1 roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • 1 bottle of Jack Daniels or a liquor of your choice
  • 1 hand mixer
  • An oven is always handy
  • 1 box of red velvet cake mix
  • 1 cannister of whipped cream cheese icing
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 bottle of black food coloring
  • 1 canister of blue decorative icing with various tips
  • 1 small straw, drink stirrer or thin, pointy object of your choice
  • 1 little black icing pen
  • baking cups (for extra cupcakes)

After assembling those items, it is time to make a mold for your syringe. In this case, I used a Jack Daniels bottle. I find that it duplicates a syringe’s general shape well enough. Take out your aluminum foil and lay out several sheets on a flat surface. These sheets will act as your pan, so it is absolutely crucial that it is strong and non-porous, yet flexible. Then, take the liquor and place it on top of the flat sheets of foil. Mold the foil around the bottle, carefully observing the contours.

The real trick to this maneuver is making sure the inside of the pan looks pretty and remains flat. If the outside looks like a joke, that’s fine. Carefully remove the bottle from the makeshift cake pan, and revise the foil where needed. It should look something like this when it is done.

That was the hard part, so pat yourself on the back — or pour a drink. Place the mold on the baking sheet and preheat the oven according to the directions on the back of your cake mix (probably around 350°F). The directions of how to make the batter should be included on your box as well. If not, return it to the store immediately and buy a replacement.

My directions read something like this:

  1. Grease sides and bottom of each pan with shortening or butter.
  2. Flour the pan lightly.
  3. Blend dry mix, water, oil, and eggs in large boil at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds).
  4. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

This is how you make batter, ladies

After making the batter, pour a portion of it into your mold. You don’t want to fill it all the way up, just about halfway. This is the point where you know if your aluminum foil is holding up. Distribute baking cups into muffin pan. Pour the leftover batter into the cups and set the muffin pan aside.  

Toss the cake into the oven for about 35-45 minutes, depending on the depth of your filling. While it’s in the oven, it’s time to prepare the icing. Take a couple of swabs (about 1/2 cup) of the icing and place it into a separate bowl. Then add just a few drops of the food coloring. You want to make the icing grey, not black.  Once finished, place the grey icing in the fridge. Food coloring has a tendency to break down icing, and the best thing to do is to keep it relatively cool until it’s time to use it. You will need to save the rest of the white icing, but it can stay out on the counter until you need it.

grey icing mixture

After your cake is finished baking, take it out and let it cool for 15 minutes. While you wait, remove your icing from the fridge and place the cupcakes into the oven.  The cupcakes will be ready in about 20-35 minutes. Don’t forget about them.

The grey icing will be a bit stiff and wreck your cake if you are impatient. Once the cake has cooled sufficiently, you may have to do a bit of cutting with a butcher knife to make the sides even and flat. My makeshift pan bubbled outwards a bit, thus making me play doctor. Once your cake is shaped, go ahead and start applying the icing, grey first.

The grey icing should cover the neck of the cake, making it look like part of a plunger device. Also, put some at the top for detail work. Now, take your normal white icing and spread it over the middle area. Use a thick layer to prevent cake crumbs from mixing in.

grey and white

Make sure your muffins aren’t burning. I’ll wait.

Take out a single muffin and shear off the top portion. You want to use the bottom of the muffin as the plunger.  Apply the grey icing so nobody knows you have a Frankenstein cake.  Now, use the blue icing on top of the white to make it look like your syringe has some EVE in it.  Angle it in a way that jives with gravity.

blue, white, and grey

For detail work, use the drink stirrer, poke it into the side where the needle would stick out, and cover it in grey icing. Squeeze a short line of blue icing starting from the tip of the straw. And now you’re ready to show off your final creation to all your friends and family who probably just disowned you. Don’t worry, I still care about you.

If you have any ideas, thoughts, or comments please post them. I am always up for a challenge, and you could be an integral part of the next “Destructoid Gourmet.”

Brad BradNicholson